by Jacob G. Hornberger, June 2, 2016
Ever since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the mainstream media has, by and large, towed the official Washington line: that the Cold War never ended, the Russian (i.e., Soviet) communist threat never went away, Russia is headed by an arrogant former KGB officer who pines for the Soviet Empire, Russia has become assertive again, and Europe is again threatened with Russian aggression.
The reason for these dramatic conclusions: Russia invaded Crimea and sent proxy forces into the eastern part of the country.
So, there you have it. Case closed. The Russian bear is back … or never went away. NATO, the old Cold War dinosaur, is needed after all. And we also need the U.S. national-security establishment more than ever — to keep us safe not only from the terrorists, Muslims, drug dealers, and illegal immigrants but also from Russia (and China too). (Oh, maybe also from the North Korean communists but apparently not from the Vietnamese communists, who they are now embracing.)
Ever since the crisis in Ukraine, we libertarians have pointing out on the Internet that the Ukraine crisis was just part of the same crisis-producing, fear-engendering process that the U.S. national-security establishment has been bringing about since its inception. Crises produce fear, which causes people to look to the national-security establishment to keep them safe. The perpetual quest for safety and security among the citizenry means ever-increasing budgets for the national-security establishment.
But now the U.S. role in the Ukraine crisis has broken into the mainstream press, in the form of an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times entitled “Russia’s Got a Point: The U.S. Broke a Promise.” The op-ed provides an excellent analysis of what the U.S. government did to bring about the crisis in Ukraine.
The title of the op-ed is right. The U.S. government did break a promise. But that’s a nice way to put it. Actually, U.S. officials double-crossed the Russians by going back on their word. And then when the crisis they hoped to provoke occurred, they did what they always do — they played the innocent and acted shocked over Russia’s aggression.
In actuality, U.S. national-security state officials got exactly what they wanted — a renewed Cold War against Russia at the same time as their global war on terrorism. At the risk of belaboring the obvious, that means continually rising budgets for what President Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex.
NATO was brought into existence as part of the Cold War to protect Western Europe from a supposed attack by the Soviet Union, which had been America’s and Britain’s wartime partner and ally. But the chances that the Soviet Union, which had suffered an estimated 27 million dead, countless wounded, and the entire country decimated by war, desired to go to war against the West were nil, especially given that the U.S. government had nuclear bombs (and had shown a willingness to use them against cities) and the Soviet Union didn’t.
But the Cold War ended more than 25 years ago. So, why is NATO still in existence? Why wasn’t it dismantled?
Well, as the LA Times op-ed points out, it was supposed to have been dismantled. In fact, as the Cold War was ending, the U.S. promised the Russians that they would dismantle NATO in return for Russia’s dismantling of the Warsaw Pact.
After the Russians complied with their end of the deal, the U.S. decided to double-cross them by keeping NATO in existence and, even worse, absorbing the Eastern European countries that had been part of the Warsaw Pact. That meant that the potential for U.S. military bases, weaponry, and personnel to creep up the Russia’s borders continued to grow.
When NATO finally got to Ukraine and threatened to absorb that country, which would have put the U.S. government in charge of Russia’s longtime control over its military base in Crimea and U.S. troops along Russia’s borders, Russia, not surprisingly, decided to draw the line. At about the same time, there was a regime change in Ukraine, one that had CIA written all over it, whereby a corrupt pro-U.S. authoritarian regime replaced a pro-Russian corrupt authoritarian regime.
And that’s how we got the crisis in Ukraine. Of course, to this day U.S. officials and most of the mainstream press play the innocent and exclaim that they had no idea that Russia would react in such an aggressive way. Really? How did U.S. official react in 1962 when the Soviets installed defensive weapons in Cuba to deter or defend against a U.S. invasion of the island? They screamed like banshees and even almost went to nuclear war over the matter.
And look at the price paid by the American people. Of course, there are the taxes that must be collected to fund NATO’s operations. More important is the fact that Americans are now legally obligated to go to war if Russia gets into a war with any of its former Warsaw Pact members. If that happens, I can already hear the statists and interventionists exclaiming, “Support the troops because they’re making the ultimate sacrifice for our country and our freedoms.”
Did you see Congress vote in favor of the NATO guarantee to go to war in the defense of former Warsaw Pact countries? Nope. That’s because under our national-security state type of government, it’s the Pentagon and the CIA, not the duly elected representatives of the people, who decide when America goes to war.
Never mind that the U.S. national security establishment never went to war to liberate Eastern Europe from the clutches of the Soviet communists. Never mind that some of the Eastern European countries are headed by authoritarian rulers. Never mind that the U.S. national-security establishment is partnering with the dictatorial regime in Egypt and kissing, hugging, and making nice with the brutal communist regime in Vietnam.
All that matters now is that the American people have now been committed by NATO to give their lives in the defense of Montenegro, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland and other Eastern European countries.
NATO is a Cold War dinosaur, one that is wreaking havoc with the economic and financial well-being of the American people and their rights and freedoms. Like that other Cold War apparatus, the national-security state, it should be tossed into the dustbin of history